There are hundreds of hotels on the Canary Islands, but they tend to fray rapidly under heavy use; frankly, many of them are overdue for renovation. With a few exceptions, noted in the individual reviews, it's best to stay in the newer facilities. Many hotels include either a full buffet breakfast or a meal plan of breakfast and lunch or dinner in the price of a room. Hotels with spas often include
use of the spa during your stay. Be sure to check what's included when comparing prices.
In addition to luxury resorts and pensions and other budget lodging, apartment complexes are also popular, particularly on Tenerife and Lanzarote. These are usually simply furnished with a kitchenette and small living space. Most complexes have on-site restaurants, although the food can be basic.
If you organize your trip through a package tour, you’ll probably receive a good rate for a hotel room, but rates for independent travelers can vary hugely at such resorts, and you may pay more than necessary. Check for offers on hotel websites and inquire about discounts for long stays or during low season. It’s also worth checking hotel-rate comparison sites.
Note that arriving in the Canary Islands without either a package or independent reservations can lead to a hassle. Many of the islands' hotels are booked solid by package travelers most of the year, and some properties do no business whatsoever with indie travelers. Bottom line: finding a last-minute room can be difficult.
High season depends on the island and the location. In Tenerife and Gran Canaria, high season is from November to April, although the season in southern Tenerife peaks again in July and August. Lanzarote and Fuerteventura’s high seasons are during December and January plus July and August. Prices spike during Carnaval in late February. It's a good idea to make reservations at least a few months in advance, particularly if you plan on visiting the two Carnaval hot spots, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Note that most four- and five-star hotels require you to dress for dinner: no beachwear, shorts, or flip-flops.